It began with a mistake. On a local NPR show, the commentator said my cookies were for sale at Café Romeo’s, a local coffee shop. In fact they are available at Romeo’s, a local deli. I thought people might go to Café Romeo in search of cookies, so I figured I’d go down there with some to see if they wouldn’t mind selling them, or even giving them away. I wanted to use the NPR publicity to gain as much of a following as I could.
So, I packaged up some cookies and drove over to Café Romeo. It was quiet, a late afternoon lull, and there were three guys and one woman behind the counter. I walked up and one of the guys asked if he could help me.
I told him the story. He flagged down a second guy. I told that guy the story, too, and he shook his head. “The manager wouldn’t like that. We bake in-house.”
“I understand,” I said. “It’s just, people might walk in here looking for my cookies, because of the NPR thing. I just thought if I left these with you, so they could try them or something…”
“I’ll be happy to tell people where to buy them, if I’m here. But you can’t just leave them.” He smiled and shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but the manager would.”
I told him I understood. Then, I took the cookies to Romeo’s.
I know this doesn’t sound remarkable or even that interesting, much less like a personal triumph, but it was. Why? Because I faced possible rejection, which turned into actual rejection, then emerged more or less intact. When I told the guy I understood, I did, in fact, understand. And even though the net result was not the one I hoped for, it made sense. I was okay with it.
I returned home to several on-line orders. I heated up the oven and set to work. Would I have liked to hear a yes? Sure. But no is part of this game, and it doesn’t crush me, or break my stride. That’s where the personal triumph part comes in.